Monday, May 23, 2011

Joplin, MO

Joplin, MO




Joplin, MO




Joplin, MO




Joplin, MO




Springfield, MO (Diner)


A huge Tornado passed close to Overland Park on Sunday night, shaking our home as the sirens sounded. I heard this morning that this Tornado hit hard the southern Missouri city of Joplin, causing massive devastation. I know Joplin, having passed through it on one of my route 66 trips made a few years ago. I have considered driving down there today, but it is not possible because I need to prepare for my trip to NYC early tomorrow morning. Here are a few of the images I made in and around Joplin on that trip. My thoughts go out to the people of Joplin in this desperate time.

" A massive tornado that tore through the southwest Missouri city of Joplin killed at least 89 people, but authorities warned that the death toll could climb Monday as search and rescuers continued their work at sunrise.

City manager Mark Rohr announced the number of known dead at a pre-dawn news conference outside the wreckage of a hospital that took a direct hit from Sunday's storm. Rohr said the twister cut a path nearly six miles long and more than a half-mile wide through the center of town, adding that tornado sirens gave residents about a 20-minute warning before the tornado touched down on the city's west side.

Much of the city's south side was leveled, with churches, schools, businesses and homes reduced to ruins.

Fire chief Mitch Randles estimated that 25 to 30 percent of the city was damaged, and said his own home was among the buildings destroyed as the twister swept through this city of about 50,000 people some 160 miles south of Kansas City."

Report from KCTV5's news website:

http://www.kctv5.com/news/27984786/detail.html

Video of the storm can be viewed here:

Joplin, MO

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Road Trip: NYC-Niagara Falls-West Virginia-Nashville-Kansas.


US56, KS
The road to Dodge



Truck Stop
Along I-70 East (Truck Stop)



Groom, TX
Groom, TX



Ottawa, KS
Ottawa, KS



I 35
I-35 East



Road to Rolla, MO



Ottawa, KS
Ottawa, KS



Monument Valley, AZ
Road to Monument Valley, AZ


Next week I will be meeting my Mother and Brother in New York City. I haven't seen my family for over three years and I am looking forward to it very much. After flying to NYC we will spend some time exploring the city and then rent a car in Manhattan (booked here) and drive it back to Kansas after first taking a northern detour to visit Niagara Falls, a place I have always wanted to see, but until now, not had the chance. My Mother has never before visited the U.S. and I can think of no better way of giving her a flavor of it's massive scale and geographic diversity than taking a road trip by car.

From Niagara we intend to head directly south through Pennsylvania, making various stops along the way and then traveling the length of West Virgina (weaving the 'Red Roads' which will be the title of a future photo series). West Virginia is one of the poorest and most beautiful States in the union, I hear, and I have longed to see and explore it. We will then begin heading west into Kentucky to the small town of Middlesbough, a destination chosen by my mother because it shares the name of the northern England City she was born and raised in. From there we will travel south to Nashville before making the last leg of our journey back home to Kansas City. There will, I'm sure be a lot of meandering along the way too and a lot of photography stops, which will I'm positive will be a powerful test of my wife Jenny and my family's patience. It will be a journey of approximately 2400 miles, a distance which anyone from England will find incomprehensibly huge.

The preparations and time leading up to a road trip, for me, is one which is always filled with both apprehension and excitement. It is a time when my confidence photographically is at it's most vulnerable and it forces me to put every previous image I've made under great scrutiny making me ask, what is it that I am ultimately doing here? I try to pre-visualize the trip and plan the work I will make and the things I will see. Experience though, has told me, again and again, this is an impossible thing to do and I know that any road trip should be embarked upon without expectation of any kind, with the exception of faith and trust. I am acutely aware that I am about to enter the unknown where reality will present itself along with all it's myth and legend, in ways I cannot yet imagine, with whatever photographic projects and ideas I have in mind. It's a beautiful, exciting and pure experience, close to that of a meditation where the present will be continuously unwrapped from moment to moment. America by car with little more than my companions, a map, camera, note book and those dreams.


Gas Station, MO
Gas Station, MO (I-70)

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Over Land Park


Overland Park, KS



Overland Park, KS



Overland Park, KS



Overland Park, KS



Mall


As a follow up to my last post, yesterday, about 'The Over Land Park', here is another selection of photographs from this on-going project.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Overland Park / Over-Land Park. Some Thoughts.

Overland Park, KS



Overland Park, KS






Overland Park, KS


My on-going project about Overland Park, KS has been my photographic playground since I moved here a few years ago and it has been the source of great inspiration and also personal insight. Many of the photographs I have made here have found their way into several sub-projects and it was also the catalysis for my recently completed Remains to be Seen series. The "Over-Land Park" has become, for me, both a window and a mirror, where I have discovered as much about America as I have about myself and my photographic vision. It is where both place and self are slowly becoming one. The objective gravity of my original and sober statement about this city is dissolving. This is something which leaves me enlightened and confused equally, every time I leave my home (or not) to photograph it.

Original Artists Statement:

Overland Park has been consistently ranked in the top 10 best cities to live in the United States, by CNN/Money magazine. Additionally, the city was ranked one of the ‘best places to raise your kids’ and also ranked 3rd for ‘America’s 10 best places to grow up’. As a photographer this news comes as an inspiration and something of a shock to me and I have decided to explore what it is that gives Overland Park this status.

Here's a link to the recent feature Urbanautica published about this series:

Below is a link to an (un)edited, work in progress slideshow of this series at Flickr:



More form the now called 'The Over-Land Park' project can be seen in previous posts.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Cage series. New Images


Cage



Cage



Cage



Cage



Here are some new images from my on-going series 'Cage'. This long term project first began approximately two years ago and I have only added images occasionally, when the opportunity has arisen. Including these new photographs the edit presently stands at 25 and it is still very much a work in progress.

Below is a quote from a previous post about the exploration of these cages and other 'internal landscapes':

"For a while now I have had a fascination with internal and artificial landscapes. It is a theme which has threaded it's way through much of the work I have made so far in the USA and whenever I am lucky enough to see and be in one, I always feel strongly compelled to photograph them.

I am interested in the illusion and the fantasy these places attempt to create and sometimes (in terms of my Cage series) their grim reality too. I love the theatre and suspension of disbelief which goes with standing in a themed museum for example. I always find that these artificial landscapes jar heavily with my own dreams, ideals and experiences and they are always, ultimately, strange, floored and sadly human.

These artificial and internal landscapes often force me to consider my own real life experience of landscapes which I have stood or lived in and questions what I have done with them myself, psychically. I think we are all filled with a lifetime - a history of landscapes, which have themselves, in turn, become a part of who we are as individuals. They become part of our own mental geography, full of archetypes, symbols and markers - integrating themselves inside, with special and personal significance. I always find it interesting and amazing, for example, when a landscape I have recently (or not recently) experienced suddenly becomes the location of a dream I have had. Why has this particular landscape or place been chosen to play out the drama of this dreams events at this time? It is something I find endlessly fascinating.."

A slide-show of the series can be viewed here: